Investigating the Resistance of a Wire

Investigating the Resistance of a Wire

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Investigating the Resistance of a Wire

I will be measuring resistance of a wire in two ways. In all
procedures I will use different thickness, length and material of
wire. This should show if the resistance differs due to any of these
variables. Also both experiments will be repeated to try to rule out
any anomalies that might occur. There is only a subtle difference
between the two experiments, and that is that the equipment used to
collect the evidence will be different. For the first experiment I
shall use an ammeter to measure the current through the wire in
current and a voltmeter to find the voltage across the wire. When I
have these figures I can then do the mathematical equation to find the
resistance of the wire. The equation to find the resistance is:

Resistance (in ohms) = Voltage across the resistor* (in Volts)

_______________________________

Current through the resistor* (in Amps)

*In this case the wire that is being tested replaces the resistor in
the equation

Also I will change the temperature of the wire with a Bunsen burner to
see how temperature of the wire has any affect on the resistance .
There will be a set of main components that will be used in both
experiments. Now I will explain how they will be used to give
effective results. The most important part of the equipment is the
system of measuring which is used. A multimeter that measures volts,
amps and ohms as well as other units will be used and will be set to
the appropriate mode to measure the right unit and scale. A voltmeter
will be connected in parallel to the wire so that it can measure the
voltage effectively. The ammeter will be placed in series before the
wire so that it also will measure effectively.

Next is the wire itself. The wire will be measured at different length
so I have chosen to use a scale of 2 – 20cm in length, as I believe
that if the wire is too long or short the results will not be

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accurate. It is notable that a resistor is just a coiled up length of
wire. Usually the trend with resistors is that the longer the wire is
the larger the resistance is. Also the material of the wire will
differ. I have chosen 5 different materials of wire because that is a
reasonable amount to give a variation of results, which can be
recorded. The next thing that might affect the resistance of the wire
is the width. The width will be measured and as many different
thicknesses will be used as possible. Also the temperature of the wire
can we varied to see if the temperature would change the resistance.

In theory the resistance of wire depending on its length should get
larger as the wire gets longer. However as there is more vibrating
ions in a wire that is longer to hamper the electric flow, there are
also more free electrons so the effects should cancel each other out.
The resistance is proportional to the length of the wire so if the
length of the wire doubles the resistance should double. Even so at
constant voltage, less energy is free to the electrons to move through
the wire so the electrons move more slowly around the circuit.
Therefore the resistance will get higher. The temperature can affect
the resistance because when a material reaches a certain temperature
called its critical temperature the material no longer gives any
resistance to the electrical flow. The width of the wire can also
change the resistance. This is because there are more free electrons
and less energy can be given to the electrons through each centimetre
of wire. In turn the electrons move slower around the circuit causing
the resistance to rise.
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